Soon after arriving at his Oxford school, the enigmatic North has invited his female history teacher, Bernie, to lunch – and not, as she had thought, to discuss history. When Monty, North's married physics teacher, makes it clear that he wants Bernie for himself, North seeks to mollify him in his own particular way: by seducing him. As North and his bizarre cohort travel across Oxford, London, Ravello, and Washington, the sexual anarchy grows ever more devastating, until eventually North's farcical ménage-à-trois results in death and tragedy. But what is the real story – and is the English master's version to be trusted? A dazzling psychological thriller, North is by turns erudite, audacious and brilliantly witty. An utterly assured and wholly original debut.

'Brian Martin has waited too long to write his first book. He should give his vivid imagination another outing soon' Digby Durant, Spectator

'Brian Martin's North spins a ripe, Fowlesian tale of sexual and spiritual intrigue' Boyd Tonkin, Independent

'Martin's crisp, lofty prose is a great success' Simon Baker, New Statesman

'Offers an intricate dance of love, or lovers, somewhat in the manner of Shakespearean comedy ... agreeable and amusing' Allan Massie, Scotsman

Price £: 
15 Jun 2013
Available from:

About the author

  • Brian Martin

    Brian Martin was appointed MBE for Services to English Literature in 2002. His literary criticism has appeared in the Spectator, the Times Literary Supplement, the Financial Times and Literary Review. He lives in Oxford, where he spent most of his career as a teacher. His first novel, North, was published by Macmillan New Writing, in 2006. His second novel, Latimer, was published in 2013. The Double Bind of Mr Rigby is his third, and he continues to write.

    Titles by Brian Martin

    The Double Bind of Mr Rigby
    Holt by Brian Martin